Appetizer Tray Using Grandma’s Silver

I’ve been thinking about rebranding my blog. A lot of thinking and rethinking. Then Kim at Curtain Queen Creates commented on the name of one of my former blogs and I went back to look at my posts there. It was like going through a closet full of old but beloved clothing. I really don’t want to throw out the old posts, so I decided to repost them here for the time being. Don’t be surprised by the various names on the photos — those are some of my older blog names.

And if there’s a name you really like, let me know. Maybe I’ll rebrand by using an old name — isn’t that the prerogative of a woman of a certain age?

Reblogged from February 20, 2013

Sometimes the simplest things are the best.IMG_7218B

Slap some baby carrots and whatever veggies you have in the house in some bowls or ramekins and add some purchased guacamole. Put them on Grandma’s silver platter (or your thrift shop treasure) and Voila! You have a healthy appetizer for the family as they wait for dinner to be ready. Or a snack if a friend drops by. There is no end to what you can do to make a party with a piece of silver.

There’s no reason not to use your silver. Every day.

GotMyReservations Coffee Thank You Sign Off

Favorites of the Week

I’m back again with a bunch of totally disconnected bits and pieces that piqued my interest this week. I hope you have as much fun as I did!

Home decor
  • While looking for wire plate stands that hold more than one plate, I discovered this gorgeous plate holder at Bed Bath and Beyond. I don’t need it, but it’s beautiful and someone among my French decor friends must have to have it to complete her look!
Click into photo for source.

Click into photo for source.

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Summer at the Seashore

For our last summer hurrah, many of you spend Labor Day weekend at the seashore. Here in the Midwest, we call it going to the lake house.

GotMyReservations Summer at the Seashore Tablescape

You might find a few shells on our inland shores, but for this tablescape, I used my son’s collection of shells that I found in the garage with some of his other treasures. He’s thirty-six years old; I think it’s time that I considered that collection mine to use! Continue reading

Silver in the Garden and on Your Table

Our Chicago suburb has a garden walk every summer as many towns do.

We saw some beautiful flowers…

GotMyReservations Good as Gold Hybrid Tea

Good as Gold Hybrid Tea Rose

…and sat on a lovely front porch in the shade while the garden clubbers handed out cool water and cookies. Continue reading

Wedding China Tablescape

When Cuisine Kathleen posed her wedding china challenge, I thought that I didn’t have much to contribute. We have wedding pink Depression glass, but I gave away all my first wedding china years ago.

While Noritake Savannah’s floral pattern is timeless, I needed to move on from the choices I made at age twenty. My best friend from college also selected this pattern when she married, and since she hosted Thanksgivings for the masses, she now had 24 matching place settings. It was a win-win for both of us.

Since then, I’ve inherited three full sets of someone else’s china, which you have seen here many times. I own my mother-in-law’s Noritake Aberdeen, my mother’s Four Crown Claridge, and my neighbor’s Noritake Stanwyk. Yes — the Claridge looks a lot like the Savannah, because my mom loved the pattern and chose a similar one.

GotMyReservations Wedding China Collage

So that brings us to 2014 and the newest bride in our family. My niece is getting married in just three weeks and has asked me to help with her tablescaping. I am honored to be included, and was excited that she has chosen to have mixed-pattern vintage china for her tables. Her tableware will come from the caterer, but my tribute to her comes from my own vaults. Once again, a family story drives this week’s tablescape. I LOVE my family stories and hope that you do, too! Continue reading

Naturally Art Nouveau Tablescape

Got My Reservations 25 Days of Christmas 2013 Medium Button14 Days until Christmas finds me back at the table creating a new tablescape. This week, we’re linking up to Cuisine Kathleen for a tablescaping challenge.

The Challenge from Cuisine Kathleen: You must show us your inspiration picture from a magazine or internet, and then show us how you copied it.

The Inspiration: from Veranda magazine (November-December 2013) — wait for it.

Veranda magazine cover November-December 2013

Veranda magazine cover November-December 2013

No, this is not the inspiration, although I absolutely love the centerpiece with the amaryllis blossoms.

This is my inspiration — statuary with natural elements, back-grounded by wintry snow and recreated on my table as the Naturally Art Nouveau Tablescape.

Photo of statuary decorated for Christmas from Veranda magazine, November-December 2013.

Photo of statuary decorated for Christmas from Veranda magazine, November-December 2013.

When I first saw this photo, I knew that I had elements of this look to create a beautiful tablescape for Kathleen’s challenge. The inspiration photo screamed Art Nouveau, and I had just the pieces to bring the naturalistic style to life. Art Nouveau is an international philosophy of design that was very popular from 1890 to 1910. It was inspired by natural forms and structures, not only in flowers and plants, but also in curved lines. Designers created art that was intended to  harmonize with the natural environment. Continue reading

Quoth The Raven Tablescape

For months I’d been planning to do homage to Edgar Allan Poe, the literary master of scary stuff, for my Halloween tablescape. I bought a raven statue as soon as they went on special the first time at Michael’s.  Imagine my surprise when I started seeing black birds on all the table displays at my favorite stores. I was absolutely crushed that I wasn’t original. I got over that when I realized that pretty much everyone in tablescaping land has black birds in their stash, and so with only one day to go, I set up my Quoth the Raven tablescape.

GotMyReservations - Quoth the Raven Intro

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Pumpkin Delight Tablescape

It’s that time of year — time for the Pumpkin Delight Tablescape. I’m not all that fond of orange, but I managed to find a vision for pumpkin time that I could live with.

GotMyReservations-Pumpkin Delight Tablescape Intro

The Pumpkin Delight Tablescape adds fall elements in an eclectic mix of formal and informal tableware.

For the first time in my life, I have a dining room table and chairs that I ordered exactly the way I wanted them to be. I’ve been the lucky beneficiary of many a hand-me-down table, and for this I am grateful, but I figured that I deserved the dining room set that I wanted, not what my relatives wanted. My Amish-made oak table and chairs are crafted in Illinois and are sturdy as well as beautiful — and with all the leaves in the table it will seat twelve. Yay! Continue reading

Winery Wedding

On September 14, my son and his beautiful bride were married in Alameda, California, in a Winery Wedding. It was a lovely ceremony in a stunning location and everything went absolutely right. It was a very personal wedding that perfectly reflected the bride and groom and it was the special day we all hoped it would be.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Intro Pic 2

The venue for the wedding was Rock Wall Winery, which is located on the grounds of the decommissioned Alameda Naval Air Station. The winery itself is in an old hangar, and the grounds include a geodesic dome and a tasting room. It was an eclectic place to hold the wedding — and totally cool.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Rockwall Winery

When we arrived at the winery, we were greeted by a lovely welcome table. The bride’s mother found many of the ideas for the decorations online — she became a close personal friend of Pinterest — and the result was perfect for our kids.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Intro Table

Inside the tasting room, there were more decorations and lots of Rock Wall wine.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Bar Deco

The “table assignments” were hung on a clothesline with a display of special photos.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Dinner Cards

The table assignments were actually times to visit — you guessed it! — the food truck for our dinner. (But I’m ahead of myself here.)

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Food Truck 2

After a short cocktail hour, we moved to the area for the ceremony. Rock Wall’s staff sets up a circle of wine casks on racks with chairs inside of the circle. The platform is in the exact right place so that the San Francisco skyline can be seen behind the wine casks.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Ceremony Setup

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Platform

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Platform 2

The bride and groom were serenaded by the East Bay Brass Band as they left the wedding enclosure. It was a joyous experience!

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Band

You can see the bubbles floating in the air with the hangar in the background.

The bride and groom met the guests in an informal receiving line — this is me and Music Man getting our hugs.GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Receiving Line

The geodesic dome was set with tables and chairs and guests also congregated outside on the deck and in the tasting room.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Dome Deco

The bride’s family went to the San Francisco Flower Mart to find the perfect flowers for the informal arrangements. They were stunning and were exactly right for the venue. The dinosaur at each table setting is a reminder of a special story from the couple’s courtship.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Centerpiece 3

The vases, votives, and cake stands were collected from the bride’s family home and from vintage shops.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Centerpiece

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Centerpiece (2)

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Cake Table

As the sun set in the west over San Francisco, we went to the food truck to pick up our meal. There were four options, including a gourmet burger, a vegetarian burger, a seafood po’boy, and a crab cake. The meal was served in recyclable containers and there were no dishes to wash — just a LOT of wine glasses!

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Food Truck 3

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Sunset

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Skyline 2GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding View from Dome

With nightfall, the dome took on a new life — and the dancing began.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Centerpiece 2

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Dance

The bride and groom completed the ritual of the cupcake…

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Cake Table 2

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Image credit:Kathryn Rummel

… and they lived happily ever after.

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Image credit: Kathryn Rummel

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and suddenly it was our thirty-first wedding anniversary. Music Man brought home gorgeous flowers and I decided to build our own version of the Winery Wedding centerpiece.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Anniversary Flowers

Any flower arrangement for a sentimental occasion in our house starts with alstroemeria — “our wedding flower.” The hydrangeas and roses are reminiscent of Tim and Mallory’s flowers, and the fragrant stargazer lilies are my favorite.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Anniversary 4

I put the arrangement in the crystal punch bowl from my next door neighbor’s estate; once again, I don’t know why anyone would give up this vintage beauty.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Anniversary 2

I added mercury glass votives and a souvenir Rock Wall champagne flute, plus a bottle of lovely rosé  that I brought home from California with me.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Anniversary 1

The whole vignette is sitting on a sheer napkin and my favorite thrifted silver tray and creates a beautiful reminder of two weddings.

The Bottom Line

I am obviously enamored of the event that Tim and Mallory created, but I also share it today to encourage other brides and grooms to think outside of the box when making plans for their perfect day. Although this wedding had many disparate pieces, with good planning and organizing the day was exactly what they had envisioned. I’m still basking in the glow of their special day and their obvious love for one another.

Tim and Mallory used Paperless Post for their invitations, and created a gift registry using Honeyfund. They plan to honeymoon on at least three continents (or until the money runs out) and are thankful that friends and family honored them with gifts of travel rather than toasters. The digital options available through these services made their communication with friends and family timely as well as eco-friendly and relatively frugal.

GotMyReservations -- Winery Wedding Kiss

I am grateful to my brother Steve and my friend Steve for taking most of these photos during the wedding. Our photographer, Kathryn Rummel, also has an extraordinary eye, and Tim and Mallory’s wedding photos can be viewed on her KReate Photography Facebook page if you want more Winery Wedding!

I’m linking up this week at Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life, We Call It Olde at We Call It Junkin’Let’s Dish with Cuisine Kathleen Open House Party with No Minimalist Here,  and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to visit these creative bloggers for lovely photos and inspiration.

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford.
Like a child in wild anticipation,
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”

Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)

Apple-Themed Fantasy Tablescape

It’s rare that I repeat a theme, but when Cuisine Kathleen announced her apple theme for today, I had to create a new Apple -Themed Fantasy Tablescape. Just a few weeks ago, I presented An Apple for the Teacher, and really had fun digging into my stash for apple-themed items. With the new challenge in front of me, I decided to re-invent the ‘scape using some new pieces along with some that I used the first time.

GotMyReservations -- Apple Fantasy Tablescape Intro

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